Dhaka Courier

Lessening Poverty through Microfinance

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Institutionalizing Microfinance in Bangladesh: Players, Games and Outcomes Author: Lila Rashid, ISBN: 9789845062756, Publisher: University Press Limited (UPL)

In 2020, University Press Limited has been published a titled “Institutionalizing Microfinance in Bangladesh: Players, Games and Outcomes”. This book is written by Lila Rashid. In this book, Rehman Sobhan pointed out in his preface section. The author tried to portray how microfinance evolved in the country and gradually took a shape.

Author  in his manuscript deals ­- rural financial market; viable model of micro-credit, NGOification of rural credit; financial sector in Bangladesh and its reforms; laws and economic discourses of microfinance operations; role of micro-credit authority; institutionalization and sustainability; policy gap in microfinance operations in Bangladesh.

Lila Rashid said that this book attempted to understand the regulatory role of the government, its background and purpose, evolving characteristics, implementation procedures, and the role of state agencies like Bangladesh Bank and the new regulatory authority for NGO-MFIs, the Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA).

Bangladesh's economy has been revving up for the last one decade because of the strong rural economy buoyed by microfinance. "In the last ten years, the world faced an economic meltdown and many countries are now going through financial turbulence. But the economy of Bangladesh has remained unscathed," The rural financial market of Bangladesh is now largely dominated by microfinance institutions, which brought about big changes in the last three decades. The financial depth, including massive transaction via mobile financial services and activism of microfinance institutions, was conducive to this transformation.

Micro and macro finance sectors should not be considered separate for the sake of uniformity of laws and regulations in the financial institutions in Bangladesh. Researcher takes an institutional approach uses a basic IAD (Institutional Analyses and Development) framework to analyze historical data.

Microfinance is good finance. We should extend big support to microfinance while the regulators should be smarter. Bangladesh is able to steer clear of all financial jitters riding on the positive developments on several fronts like micro-finance, financial inclusion and mobile financial services that brought the rural economy to the mainstream.

In Bangladesh, around 3.30 crore people have taken services from microfinance institutions and the number is growing," the sector is largely free from graft and irregularities. There are about seven crore recipients of mobile financial services, which also helped deepen financial inclusion and strengthen the base of the economy.

Researcher points out that the inherent problems of designing a universal set of regulations for a range of microfinance institutions of all shapes and sizes with varying legal personalities. In general, the views of the stakeholders towards the MRA can be classified into categories – successful, unsuccessful, partially successful and neutral.

Explaining the term ‘poor cannot save’ writer mentions, microfinance is the expanded version of microcredit that includes supplementary and complementary services like – savings, insurance and others. In neoclassical view, role of government links direct intervention; other hand, in neoliberal view, the role of government in microfinance links indirectly promotional. Financial services should not be supplied in advance of demand but to meet existing needs.

It is true that, we need 320 solar irrigation pumps benefiting 8,000 farmers; supporting 17,500-hectare block plantations and 2,000-kilometer strip plantations from flooding and saline intrusion; providing basic adaptive services for 40,000 families; Offer trainings on alternative livelihoods for 6,000 poor households in 200 communities; constructing 224 new cyclone shelters and repairing 387 kilometers of embankment; providing 3.95 million remote households and rural shops with solar home systems: installing seven mini-grids to provide continuous electricity to 2,000 rural businesses and shops; distributing clean, energy-efficient cooking stoves to 750,000 rural women for inclusive development.

Author Recommends, effective monitoring of Grameen Bank by an external monitoring agency; develop necessary and sufficient mechanisms to protect public savings collected by NGO-MFI’s; addressing the issue of client protection.

This treasure of knowledge, guideline of intellectually stimulating, collection of ‘inclusive thoughts’ is a great edition in microfinance literatures would be helpful for the people who are still are fighting from the aspects of economically, socially and culturally for people and society oriented beautiful world.

Reviewed By Shishir Reza Environmental Analyst & Associate Member of Bangladesh Economic Association.

  • This book is written by Lila Rashid
  • Players, Games and Outcomes
  • Institutionalizing Microfinance in Bangladesh

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